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The Patriot Press

Football Team Loses in State Semi-Finals to Old Tappan

By Jacob Waxman, Staff Writer

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After going undefeated last season, the football team looked to become the State Champions for the second consecutive year. Unfortunately for the team, they had to get past state powerhouse, Old Tappan. Old Tappan’s Golden Knights are familiar opponents for the football team: in 2010 Hills played them in MetLife Stadium, beating the Knights on a last-second kick return. Hills played them in Metlife again in 2015, but this time Old Tappan won, led to victory by current Ohio State Safety-Bound Jordan Fuller.

On November 17, the Patriots traveled to Old Tappan to take on the Golden Knights in what proved a difficult game for the team. This was their second time playing Old Tappan this season; however, Hills lost 35-0 that time. This time around the Patriots hoped to put that game behind them and get a win.

However, from the start of the game, Old Tappan took complete control, getting off to a quick 21-0 score early in the first quarter. Led by quarterback Jaaron Hayek, Hills managed to score a touchdown on a 36-yard run; this was the only score of the game for the Patriots.

From there the Golden Knights expanded their commanding lead, scoring 21 unanswered points throughout the rest of the game. Golden Knights quarterback Nick McNerney finished the night with 279 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air. Hills seniors Mike Zaccone, Jason Modak, and Mike Krawczuk led the defense with a 10 and 5 tackles respectively in a valiant attempt to stop the dominant Old Tappan offense. For Hills, Hayek finished the night with 122-yard passing and 96 yards rushing while racking up the Patriots aforementioned only score of the game. Old Tappan finished off the night with a 42-7 win over the Patriots, unfortunately ending the seniors season earlier than they hoped. When asked about the struggles during Friday nights game, senior captain Scott Fischgrund stated, “Our offense couldn’t move the ball like we usually do and their defense made good plays to stop our run game. Nothing we weren’t prepared for, just poor execution.” These struggles were all too familiar for the Patriots; when they faced Old Tappan in September the Patriots turned the ball over six times on offense.

The Patriots are currently led by captains Scott Fischgrund, Pete Dellechiaie, Dario Sirni, Jason Modak, and Mike Zaccone. Although they are losing 17 seniors this year, the team hopes to rebound next year and win the State Championship.

Old Tappan returns to the gridiron on November 30 where they will face Mount Olive in the North 1 Group 4 Sectional Final at MetLife Stadium.

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"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."
Football Team Loses in State Semi-Finals to Old Tappan